Created by federal decree nr. 1035 of January 10, 1939, the Park comprises a total area of 185,262.5 hectares and a length of about 420km, 300km of which are natural borders by bodies of water and the Brazilian and Argentinean sides together comprise around 225 thousand hectares.
On November 17, 1986, during the UNESCO conference held in Paris, the Iguaçú National Park was listed as Natural Heritage of Humanity and is one of the largest forest preservation areas in South America.
The Iguaçú National Park owes its name to the fact it includes an important area of the Iguaçú river, approximately 50km of the length of the river and the world famous Iguaçú Falls.
It is the most important park of the Prata Basin and, since it is a haven to a significant genetic asset of animal and vegetal species, it was the first park in Brazil to receive a Management Plan.
The Iguaçú National Park is spectacular as well as pioneering. The first proposal for a Brazilian national park aimed at providing a pristine environment to “future generations”, just as “it had been created by God” and endowed with “all possible preservation, from the beautiful to the sublime, from the picturesque to the awesome” and “an unmatched flora” located in the “magnificent Iguaçú waterfalls”. These were the words used by Andre Rebouças, an engineer, in his book “Provinces of Paraná, Railways to Mato Grosso and Bolivia”, which started up the campaign aimed at preserving the Iguaçú Falls way back in 1876, when Yellowstone, the first national park on the planet, was four years old.